crime

There is a lot of information to share on how crime & punishment, law & order, will work in GunSmoke County. Please take your time to read everything and reach out via Discord if you have any questions.

There are two levels of crime in GunSmoke; ‘high crimes’ require a trial to be proven and if you are proven to have committed one of these offenses you will be executed and it will be a permadeath. Other lesser crimes might result in fines and more creative punishments such as community service, as set by the sheriff who arrests you. High crimes are crimes that can be proven OOC via logs and as such will lead to your character’s permadeath if caught and found guilty ingame. While the admin team will be able to know your guilt or innocence of a high crime, this will never be shared in roleplay and it is up to you and your representation to get you off the hook or up to the sheriff and county witnesses to prove your guilt in roleplay.

HIGH CRIMES

MURDER

The act of causing a perma-death to a character.

ATTEMPTED MURDER

Intentionally reducing a player’s HP to 0 (‘wounding’ in RP)

IMPERSONATING A SHERIFF
OR DEPUTY

Using a sheriff or deputy badge or item of clothing or introducing yourself as a sheriff or deputy when you have not been registered as such with the Federal Bank is a high crime and punishable by execution.

BANK ROBBERY

Bank robberies are difficult to pull off and even more difficult to get away with. You will need to be sure your prize will be worth the trouble you’ll have to go to to get into your chosen bank, you’ll need to stake it out and plan your entry point, decide with your posse how you’ll get by any defenses such as sheriff surveillance and work out your escape route. You may only steal from the main town vaults, no townsfolks’ lockboxes may be stolen from.

Gunpowder kegs are intentionally expensive and difficult to make and depending on the layout of the particular bank you’re thinking about robbing, you may need more than one.

Bank robberies are not permitted at the Federal Bank.

CATTLE RUSTLING

Cattle can be stolen via our modded lassos. Wranglers are the only class who may make & use lassos. Please read our breaking and entering rules before attempting to enter a building or enclosure to steal an animal. Animal theft is one of the many things we have in GunSmoke that is completely unique to our world, it is not something that everyone agrees with and if it is abused the functionality will be removed.

KILL ON SIGHT

This is a no kill on sight server. All conflicts must have a role-play reason. If firing a warning shot you should not fire it at anyone. If you fire a warning shot and it hits somebody ‘by accident’ if it is reported to the admin team it will be considered a KOS attempt and the relevant disciplinary action taken, so better be safe than sorry with any warning shots you fire. 

Sniping, or long distance shooting of any kind from a bow or gun to strike an unaware person is strictly forbidden and admins will intervene and disciplinary action will follow. There will never be a reason for KOS, unless a special admin controlled event allows it.

PVP

Killing a fellow player in GSRP is something we’ve made require significant intention. Our guns do not generally kill outright and several shots, mostly into an unconscious person, will usually be required to kill them. Murder and attempted murder are high crimes and committing them opens your character to potential permadeath if found guilty & executed.

Some warning must be given before attacking in any situation, this can be a quick shouted warning ‘Get out of here or I’ll put you in the ground too!’ for example, it simply needs to be a case of making yourself and your aggressive intention known to anyone entering the scene.

When attacking a character, you MUST have a valid RP reason for your actions. Invoking PVP just because you are OOC angry, bored, or looking to create random chaos is not allowed. Talk to people, create a scenario, make a reason for the aggression. One reroll per season.

Please note, during bank opening times Juniper & Juniper Gulch are NON PVP allowed zones.

PERMA-DEATH

The only circumstances in which someone can be perma-killed are court approved executions, admin approved assassinations and witnessed duels both parties consented to.

If you think you have been perma-killed or if you think you’ve perma-killed someone else you should inform an admin as quickly as possible so they can get the details and make the final call deciding if the permadeath is valid. Wherever possible the initial admin you DM will bring a second admin into the discussion and they will make the decision together. If the person whose permadeath is in question is unhappy with the initial decision they may request an appeal where the admin team as a whole will discuss and vote. The outcome of this appeal is final. You may not request a permadeath appeal as the person who caused the death.

ASSASSINATIONS

Assassinations are the pre planned murders of mayors and sheriffs/deputies. This is the only way of perma-ing one of these characters (outside of their own choosing to do so of course). An admin must approve any assassination attempt. An admin will only approve such an action if they are assured all reasonable roleplay avenues have been exhausted; ‘I wanna permakill Sheriff Steve cos he arrested me twice last week’ will not constitute sufficient terms for an assassination. Admins will be looking for a prolonged and invested roleplay relationship between your character and the intended target.

You must have at least 3 witnesses to the kill and you must give your target generous opportunity to escape/defend themselves; the admin team will have no issue with backtracking on the perma-death if this is not given. You may not use animals to kill your target. You will only be given one opportunity to be successful in your assassination attempt, so follow the rules and make it count. One approved assassination attempt per player (not per character) per season.

Bear in mind that if you kill any character you are opening your own character up to perma-death should you be caught, tried and executed. This stands whether the other party has been perma-killed or not.

If an assassination victim appeals the perma-death the admin team will speak to all parties involved and make as balanced a decision as possible, this will be final and drama rustling from either side will not be tolerated.

SELF DEFENCE

You are entitled to defend yourself and your property. If you catch someone attempting to steal your belongings, you may make any reasonable action to stop them. The way guns work in GunSmoke means you are usually not going to have to kill someone to stop their actions and if you make the conscious act to end their life this may not be considered reasonable in the majority of cases and you will be subject to arrest for either attempted murder or murder, and risk the potential permadeath this carries.

AVOIDING CONFLICT & COMBAT

Placing and hiding in a tent to avoid combat, conflict, or RP is equal to combat logging and against the rules. Tents are not to be used as tools or weapons during combat, you can not trap someone in it. You may run into your home or any standing permanent structure, go to get help or a weapon, but you may not use a temporary structure to block or undermine a situation. Using Ark exploits to avoid any resolve of a conflict is against the rules.

COMBAT LOGGING

Combat logging is when someone avoids playing out the end of a fight or roleplay scenario intentionally by logging off. This should be reported to a member of the admin team and while crashes happen if it becomes a pattern disciplinary action will be taken. If you crash during a fight or active roleplay you should make every effort to log back into the server. If you are not able to do so you should inform an admin of the situation ASAP to prevent any accusations of purposeful combat logging.

KIDNAPPINGS

You cannot kidnap someone and keep them hostage for longer than 60 minutes. There should be valid RP reasons for kidnapping someone, randomly assaulting someone and taking them hostage will not be permitted. Roleplay should be happening during the time you are keeping someone prisoner. It is not okay to kidnap someone and then ignore them for an hour, either RP with them or let them go. Do not harass people through kidnapping RP, you should not repeatedly kidnap the same person over and over. If you do so and the admin team are made aware there will be disciplinary action taken.

SLEEPERS

If a character you have come across in the open is sleeping (offline) you can help them by dragging them to safety. If you drag a sleeper into a building you must ensure they have a way out, i.e. pin code the doors and leave them with a note on their person with the pin code. Sleepers should not be dragged into a jail cell for this purpose. Sleepers should never be killed and if they have a mount or pet with them neither should you cause any harm to them, beyond knocking them out. Stealing from sleepers you come across outside of buildings is not allowed. Sleepers in buildings or on beds/sleeping bags can be stolen from so long as a note is left.

PASSIVE TAMES

Killing passive tames is not allowed.

You can knock out a tame to feed it, if it is starving.  Or knock it out to take the saddle and/or valuables hidden in its saddlebags, if you are inclined to do so.  Remember, you must leave an evidence note.

If you attempt to knock a passive tame out and by accident kill it this is a rule break and will be subject to our disciplinary process. Veer onto the side of safety when attempting to knock out passive tames.

When killing a non-passive tame out of active RP you must either leave a note (if the animal is in a stable/barn/enclosure) in the owner’s mailbox or if this is not possible you should leave a sign with the date and animal killed and either your name and location or clues to the same standard as evidence notes. These signs are exempt from the litter rule.

THIEVING & EVIDENCE NOTES

You may only steal from unlocked containers, you may never break anything (including doors, see next section) in the course of stealing. Stealing mail or notes is not allowed. Thieving in GSRP should be used as another way of creating role-play, it shouldn’t be used to harass or grief another citizen, and you should expect to be caught if looked for.

Bandits and outlaws are restricted to one theft initiation per day. If you are in a group of bandits the person whose count it is going under must be the initiator/main aggressor. For bandits/outlaws sake we'd recommend you DM an admin with the details of your theft victims after the RP is complete but this is not required.

The first week of the season is a NO ROBBERY grace period.

Anytime you commit a theft you should leave an evidence note in the container you have stolen from, or on the victim’s body if appropriate. This evidence note should provide actionable information. It should be comprised of:

a clue about where you live ‘there is sand left on the floor, similar to the consistency you might find at Arrowhead.’

a clue about who you are ‘there is an aroma of cattle dung when you walk in and stuck to the handle of a drawer is a bit of straw with what is certainly dung attached.’

a clue about your appearance ‘a long blonde hair is trapped in the hinge of the door’. Do not change your appearance to avoid confrontation, i.e. if you have blonde hair when you commit a theft you should wait a period of at least one week before altering this.

Any evidence notes that fall below this standard should be reported to an admin for investigation.

BREAKING & ENTERING

Breaking down doors in the course of a crime is not permitted in GunSmoke. The only time you may forcibly enter a building is via gunpowder in the course of a jailbreak or bank robbery. The only time you may enter a building to steal from within, or to commit any other sort of crime, is through a door that has been left unlocked. Stealing through open windows is fair game, if someone has placed an item close enough to a window to be stolen from.

Sheriffs & deputies may break down doors in the act of apprehending a criminal they have reason to believe is hiding in a building or in the process of rescuing hostages proven to be inside. The door should be replaced immediately at the sheriff’s office expense (if it turns out no criminal is awake inside the building a replacement door of the same type as the one destroyed must be left in the property owner's mailbox and a note explaining the damage and the name/location of the sheriff responsible must also be left).

For the sake of players who do not wish to keep their animals in a barn, fences count as walls and gates count as doors. You may not jump over a fence during the act of thieving.

Please note, no buildings at Juniper are to be broken into and jailbreaks cannot be carried out at the County Court or jail. It is also explicitly against the rules to attempt to steal from Juniper Federal Bank.

The use of explosive barrels in the first week of a season is not allowed.

FELONIES

Felonies are a ‘3 strike’ crime level.

Currently the only felony is ‘endangering human life’ - primarily this applies to shooting but is up to sheriffs and judges/JotPs to apply it to other situations as/when it applies. Felonies must be proven through a trial and all rules in relation to trials are the same as with high crimes.

Once a person has been convicted of 3 felonies they can be executed, this execution will be a perma-death.

Each time a felony charge is proven a record must be taken and filed securely within the town where the case was heard (or within the court records at Juniper if the trial is held there). It is up to the sheriffs and deputies of the County to find and provide records of previous felony convictions when pursuing an execution warrant. We recommend the use of the telegram system to quickly gather any required information as necessary.

CAPTURE & PUNISHMENT

If you are a sheriff, a deputy or a bounty hunter you may seek out wanted posters and bounties. The bounties must have a valid RP reason and have a monetary value placed as a reward for anyone who collects it. Failing to provide the reward will result in a very angry bounty hunter who may decide to collect via other means.

Sheriffs have the ability to deputize as they choose, these deputies do not have to reside in a town. Sheriffs will need to come to the bank to register their deputies in-character and will be given deputy badges for them. During sheriffs’ absences deputies have the full power and responsibilities of sheriffs, i.e they can arrange and prosecute trials and carry out court ordered executions for high crimes, becoming a deputy will also make your character perma-able.

No ‘wanted dead or alive’ style bounties, your quarry should always be turned over alive. Outlaws should value their lives at all times, only when they are legitimately convinced being arrested will end with their deaths should they refuse to be taken alive and attempt to survive a shootout with the arresting party. There is always a chance for the legal system to work in your favour as an outlaw, for all but the most damning of cases or most serious crimes with irrefutable proof.

If an attempt to arrest a wanted person turns into a gun fight neither party will be perma-killable. The only way to perma-kill an outlaw is by bringing them to justice through arrest and trial and the only way to perma-kill a lawman is through a successful and admin approved assassination.

As a bounty hunter or sheriff you will need to be very careful when attempting to take in an outlaw. If you hurt him too much and he dies you’ll have lost him. You will need to carefully place your shots to cause your target to lose consciousness so you’re able to handcuff them and bring them in for any necessary wound care and questioning. If the outlaw is killed he will spawn back at his home, you are required to give him at least 15 minutes before attempting to find him again, in which time he may have run to safety.

Sheriffs and deputies may buy lassos from wranglers with the exclusive purpose of bringing handcuffed criminals into the jail that refuse to come of their own accord. Sheriffs and deputies may not use the lassos in any other circumstances.

You cannot use your season reroll while you are wanted by the law i.e. if there is a current wanted poster for you. You can either complete the story arc in character or you can choose to wait until the end of the season before playing again.

INCARCERATION RULES

You have been arrested and are sitting in a jail cell. The maximum time you can be held is 60 minutes.

Your way out of jail after arrest can be the following:

AWAITING TRIAL

Once released from jail you are allowed to stay in the town and can come and go as you please while you await trial. Reasons for this could be the wait for a lawyer or justice of the peace is longer than the 60 minute window allows.

FINED OR MINOR PUNISHMENT

Your crimes were not dangerous and you are not a menace to society, so after paying your fine you have been freed to go about your business. This fine may go to compensate your purported victim or into the town mayor’s pockets. At the arresting sheriff’s pleasure they may also choose to hand down other minor punishments such as community service.

JAILBREAK

You managed to get word to your partners in crime and now your gang arrives to rescue you! Through brute force they manage to get you out of there, but now you are on the run and both you and your compadres are hunted by the sheriff and his men, probably with a bounty on your heads. Jailbreaks are not permitted at Juniper Court or jail, however, you can be freed between the cells and the place of execution.

NO FURTHER ACTION

The sheriff or deputy decides it’s not in the public interest to try and prosecute you, or you satisfactorily convince them of your innocence and are set free with no further action to be taken.

CHARGES

A person being taken to trial for high crime/s must be clearly told what they’re being tried for during their time of arrest and these charges should be listed in the court announcement.

Only charges which the arresting sheriff feels like he can prove should be made as all charges listed in the court announcement must be tried at the court date, if they cannot be proven the criminal must be found not guilty of those crimes. There is no ‘holding’ of charges for future dates.

TRIALS

If you have been arrested for a ‘high crime’ you must be given a trial and if found guilty the mandatory sentence is perma-death execution. This is true whether someone claims themselves innocent or admits their crime. If someone turns themselves in or admits/pleads guilty to a high crime a trial must take place and if they are admitting their crime they should be found guilty of said crime and given the mandatory sentence of execution.

If, after arrest or voluntary surrender, the sheriff wishes to have you tried immediately he must inform you of such within the initial 10 minutes of your arrival at the jail. If you know a lawyer or citizen of good standing within the town in which you’ve been arrested, who you’d like to defend you, you should give the sheriff this information immediately so he can try to find them as well as any witnesses (max of 2 for both sides) you would like to call to speak on your behalf. If the lawyer or witnesses cannot be found you will be given no less than 2 real time days to find representation before a hearing. If you are unable to find a lawyer to represent you you may elect for someone within good standing in the town to speak on your behalf, or you may represent yourself. The date and time of said hearing must be agreed on by both yourself and the arresting sheriff. If after discussion no suitable hearing day/time can be agreed upon it will default to the time of your arrest 2 days forth. County Court trials should be posted in the IC Announcements Discord channel to avoid double bookings. When posting a trial notice you should include: the name of the defendant, the name of arresting sheriff or deputy, the name of the JotP who will be trying the criminal and the crime(s) the defendant is accused of, as well as the date & time of the trial.

Immediately arranged trials can be held in any suitable unlocked public building such as the saloon or town hall, except the jail building. In other words, you must actually be moved from one building to another, and the building you’re moved to for trial must be publicly accessible. You must be given the opportunity to have representation (whether that is a lawyer or a citizen of good standing you elect) and both sides may call no more than 2 witnesses.

If a trial is set for a future date this should be held at the County Courthouse at Juniper. The sheriff in charge of your custody will have the responsibility of ensuring your safe arrival at trial, he may post deputies to follow you about your business or watch your place of abode to ensure you do not try to run. It is your responsibility to ensure your representation and witnesses are at the courthouse for your hearing, if you desire them. The case will be heard whether you or your representation turn up or not, with a judgement made in absentia if necessary. If the arresting sheriff does not turn up at the court hearing you will have all charges against you dropped and will be a free person.

Any judge or justice of the peace can try criminals, the only restriction is they cannot be the named justice of the peace of the same town as the arresting sheriff. The sheriff is responsible for finding an available judge or justice of the peace for trial.

If you are found guilty of a high crime in absentia, in other words, you don’t turn up for your trial, your conviction will be recorded in the County Court records and if you are then arrested at a later date a sheriff may carry out this execution as if you had just had your trial (i.e. offer you a last visitation and give you at least a 45 minute, but no more than 60 minute, window before execution commences). This will still be counted as a permadeath execution and you will need to reroll.

LESSER CRIMES AT TRIAL

A JotP or judge presiding over a high crime trial has the power to find a person not guilty of the charged high crime but guilty of a lesser crime, and hand down a suitable punishment as they see fit.

This punishment is up to the arresting sheriff to see completed.

MISTRIALS

In the case of prosecution or defence incompetency a mistrial can be decided by the presiding judge or JotP during the court case or within 45 minutes after a guilty verdict of a high crime.

If there is incompetency on the side of the presiding judge or JotP a mistrial can be called by two other judges or JotPs. A mistrial for judge or JotP incompetency can only be called within 45 minutes of a high crime guilty verdict and the reasoning for calling for a mistrial should be clearly stated in the court records.

In the case of a mistrial by judge or JotP incompetency the accused person should be consulted to set a new trial date within 2 real time days which should be presided over by a separate licensed judge or JotP and cannot be either the two petitioning JotPs or the original trial JotP. This must also not be the JotP of the same town as the arresting sheriff.

If a new judge or JotP cannot be found all charges filed against the accused to be dealt with at the hearing will be dropped and they will be free to go.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

You’ve been found guilty of a high crime by a judge or justice of the peace and are scheduled to be executed. If your trial happened within a town you should be moved from the trial building back to the jail building where preparations will be made for your execution.

If your trial was at County Court you will be moved to the cells below the court. At this time you may request a final visitation from a representative of your chosen religion, a friend or family member who will be able to stay with you until the time of your execution.

You should be held for at least a period of 45 minutes before execution procedure begins, unless you request it to happen before then, in which case the arresting sheriff should make every attempt to do so. Once the allotted wait time is up the sheriff will move you from your cell to an allotted place of execution. This place should be in the open and not in a building.

Shooting and hanging are the only modes of accepted execution in GunSmoke County.

DUELS

Duels are permitted as long as both parties agree and should be had outside with witnesses who can attest to the validity of the duel, with both parties adhering to any agreed terms.

Guns in GSRP have been modified to cause simulated blackouts from pain and blood loss. This means you do not have to kill your opponent; you simply land your shot and come out the victor. Killing the other character should not be a decision made lightly and by doing so you may be arrested and tried for murder, and risk the permadeath execution would bring.

If you are a perma-killable character and you agree to take part in a duel and die you will be perma-killed and will have to reroll.

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